Garry Winogrand

Dates1928 - 1984
BornNew York, New York, United States
DiedTijuana, Mexico

In 1948 a fellow student and photographer for Columbia University's student paper showed Garry Winogrand the darkroom, which was open twenty-four hours in the basement of the architecture building. Two weeks later, Winogrand abandoned painting for photography and "never looked back." Described as "an undisciplined mixture of energy, ego, curiosity, ignorance, and street-smart naiveté," the Bronx native photographed incessantly, mostly on the streets, working as a freelance photographer for a picture agency and eventually publishing journalistic images in numerous magazines throughout the fifties.

Around 1960, after being shown a copy of Walker Evans's book American Photographs, Winogrand began to take a more artistic approach in his work. The first half of the decade, however, was a difficult time, including political disillusionment and the breakup of his first marriage. He persevered in his career and eventually published four books of photographs, including The Animalsin 1969, images made in zoos, and Women Are Beautifulin 1975, candid shots of anonymous women on the street. Winogrand used a small-format, 35mm camera that enabled him to photograph quickly and freely, which he did to the extreme: at the time of his death in 1984, he left more than 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film.